Comparing Human and Robot Skills
Robots seem to be better at hard skills such as mathematics and computing, while humans are much better at soft skills, such as reasoning and writing.
“Computers and the Future of Skill Demand” uses a test based on the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to compare computers with humans. Stuart W. Elliot, the book’s author, and Dirk Van Damme, the OECD’s Head of the Skills Beyond Schools Division, point out that new and improved AI will continue to dramatically change our lives as we’re “surrounded by computers that provide information, direct our attention and suggest choices.”
If computers are better than humans at solving complicated math problems, why should students even bother to learn mathematics? Elliott and Van Damme state that while “it’s helpful for everyone to learn basic arithmetic as part of learning to reason with numbers,” the “real competence needed by people will be the critical thinking and reasoning to put all the pieces together.”
Saudi Arabia gave citizenship to a humanoid robot named Sophia. C. M. Rubin discusses with Elliott and Van Damme the societal disruption driven by newer technologies coming soon. Should governments be drafting legislation to deal with robots now? Elliott and Van Damme acknowledge that robots could become so “self-reflective that they’ll describe their reasoning and goals the same way humans do.” When that happens, society will “need to decide whether to treat those robots legally as having a kind of self-interest comparable to humans.”